I have owned Gamestorming – A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers for two weeks. Already I know it is going to join my go-to ‘flip and dip’ reference books, as opposed to the occasional ‘flip through and wonder why I bought it in the first place’ book.  A collaboration of Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, this compilation of games and activities is one of the best I’ve seen.

Experienced facilitators will be familiar with much of the content.  Yet it works really well as a reminder of oldies but goodies and for introducing new ideas and adaptations.

For those not so experienced, it has enough substance and clarity to guide you through your first time with any one of the activities.  The addition of time frames and ranges for the number of participants is also useful. Most of the items acknowledge the originator of the concepts thus providing great source references for those who want to explore more of the same.

Last week I was looking for a way to gently introduce a story telling session at a workshop.   I found it in Gamestorming.  It worked a treat with some adaptations to suit the circumstance.

Head over here for the Gamestorming blog.

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This morning I began to wonder about focus groups.  As I am not a product researcher or marketer, I have only questions.  I’ve found no leads as to how and where focus groups originated.  My instinct tells me that the first of their kind may have taken place in the United States and that they were focused on the effectiveness of particular soap powders or why certain breakfast cereals, jeans or vehicles are purchased.

In Australia today, focus groups are being used to assist political parties to develop policy and national responses to problems much more complex than my preference for a particular brand of chocolate.

Things I wonder if focus groups are held in a political context.

- do focus groups represent the whole community or only those who live in marginal electorates?

- when did we become customers instead of citizens?

- how do people get selected for focus groups?  Is the method different depending on the topic?

- who frames the questions and what kinds of questions are asked, for example, if we’re talking about immigration policy or climate change or aged care

- what weight do focus groups have on decision making?

- do governments ever ignore the outcome of a focus group they have commissioned?  If so, why?

- do focus groups in this context spend time on one issue (focus) on one or many (scatter gun) issues?

- who runs the focus groups and how is the material reported back to the decision makers?

I’d be interested to know.

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I really like this simple and elegant quiz using 6 lego pieces from the team at Gamechangers and the game opportunities presented when 6 people meet and see what emerges from playing together.


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Yesterday when I looked up, this is what I saw.  Today and tomorrow and the next day it will be different.

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